Saturday, September 28, 2013

New Cover for The Scars of Ambition!

I just wanted to quickly share the new cover we've got for The Scars of Ambition! The sequel, The Vendetta Clause, will probably be out in November, and I'm very optimistic about it!

As for Scars, the book has been getting some great reviews. Here's a recent one from reviewer Jake Scholl:

"Ever get tired of a Medieval Fantasy setting? Or have you ever wondered what would happen when Middle Earth’s technology would become like ours? With The Scars of Ambition, Jason Letts answers these questions.

The novel takes place in a land called Cumeria, where the government hardly has any serious power, and wealthy all powerful corporations control nearly every aspect of life. Much like Game of Thrones, these wealthy families behave much like the squabbling Houses of Westoros. But, the background setting is much like modern day. There are airplanes, gas powered vehicles, computers, phones, guns, etcetera.

You may ask how Scars can be Fantasy with all of these modern pieces of technology, there still are some elements, like magic, creatures, and swords, that are in most Fantasy Novels. I honestly didn’t know if Letts could pull the fusion of new and old elements off, but Letts does amazingly well, and makes the plot his own rather than follow the normal conventions of the genre.

The story centers around the Bracken family. It centers around Lowell Bracken, the father & head of the family business called Bracken Energy. The Bracken’s have been leaders in the land of Cumeria for hundreds of years without resistance. That is, until forces beyond his control turn on him, and he doesn’t know who to trust…That’s all I can say about the without spoilers. All I will say is that the tale will keep you guessing till the end. :)

As for the characters, they are well done too. Every character is fleshed out well, even characters who you only see a few times will stick with you.

If you are a fan of G.R.R.M, the TV show Dallas (When you read it, you’ll know what I mean.), and Steampunk Fantasy, this book is made for you."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Scars of Ambition: Fantasy Book Release

After a hiatus of over a year, I've finally published another piece of fiction, the newly released The Scars of Ambition, the first book in a new series called The Cumerian Unraveling.

Why did I stop? Why did I come back? Why does this book look so different than my previous books? The answers to all of those questions are tied up together in the basement, and it's time to let them out.

When I was writing full-time for a living, the market pressure of publishing in order to earn became too large a factor in what I was writing. Some of my previous novels failed to connect with readers, probably because I wasn't really being true to myself and what I really wanted to write. In truth, I wasn't connecting with my characters in some of those books or their stories. I told them because that's what I thought YA readers wanted to read, but in truth I'd stopped being a YA author long ago.

Suspense barely deserves the YA label. It's dark, mortality is a constantly at the forefront of the narrative, and the characters generally have a rough ride. Maybe too rough and too dark, because some readers found parts of it jarring. It took a long while for me to put some of those old stories behind me so that I could feel like I could start fresh and align myself with a story I felt passionate about.

Other circumstances changed as well. If this book doesn't sell a single copy, I'll be just fine. And because of that, I'll be able to go ahead and write the sequel too knowing full well that the only thing I have to accomplish is writing a kick-ass story, one that means something to me. Now all I have to do is hope there are some other people out there who are something like me. I bet there are.

That brings me to The Scars of Ambition, which at 95,000 words is the longest book I've ever published. It's got more characters, more time for development, and more attention to the various aspects of Cumeria's troubled society. At the heart of it, the Bracken family knows they can only rely on each other, but even that comes into question as Lowell and his children (early thirties to late teens) take on their own challenges. I won't give away too much more, but what I like about this novel is that the characters often struggle with trying to be good in a world that seems to compel them to be bad.

Want to find out more? Here's the description, and the map.

“The ancient family sword’s immaculate steel blade reminded him that there were still parts of the world where this was the only weapon people had, the old ways were still alive and well, and there were creatures out there and powerful things beyond what he could ever imagine.”

Lowell Bracken had complete control. His empire, his ruthless executives, his family’s legacy, his wife, his children, they all had a part to play in the near omnipotent control he exerted in Cumeria. But a freak attack exposed how tenuous that control really is, and Lowell scrambles to preserve it, discovering he is only playing a small part in larger, darker schemes for control.

From the shadows, mysterious and disturbing threats disrupt the already-turbulent business landscape in Cumeria. When blood is spilled, the fight for survival becomes more than just a euphemism for going out of business, and the Brackens’ struggles to retain order might be the only thing keeping all of Cumeria from plunging into chaos.